A French Perspective on Czech History. Svět knihy 2023

Presentation of the book: Marie-Elizabeth Ducreux Proměny společnosti ve střední Evropě v 17. a 18. století. Nakl. Karolinum, 2023 organized by the French Institute in Prague, Karolinum Publishing and CEFRES.

With the participation of the auteur, the scientific editors and the translator of the book.

  • Marie-Elizabeth Ducreux (EHESS), the author
  • Ivana Čornejová (Charles University), scientific editor
  • Zdeněk Hojda (Charles University), Scientific editor and moderator
  • Adéla Stříbrná (PhD student at Charles University & Université Paris-Nanterre), translator

When: Friday 12 May 2023, 3 pm
Where: Svět knihy, Výstaviště, Prague 7, Hall “Mluvného slova”
Langauge: Czech

The debate will shed light on the reasons that led Prof. Marie-Elizabeth Ducreux to study Czech history and spiritual culture of the 17th-18th centuries. It will emphasize her deep interest in the topic and her use of French methodological tools to analyse Czech history as well as her profound knowledge of written sources.

Marie Elizabeth Ducreux  is a French historian and bohemist. She deals with early modern history of the Czech lands and Central Europe. Her first works were devoted to Czech Catholic hymnals in the 17th and 18th centuries and their relationship to non-Catholic hymnals. She then researched the re-Catholicization of Bohemia and the history of the book, especially in connection with the activities of secret non-Catholics in Bohemia. She also devoted some publications to the issue of nationalism and identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. Her more recent works deal with symbols in the political and religious history of the Habsburg Monarchy in the 17th and 18th centuries.
She publishes in French, English, German, Czech, and some of her studies have been translated into other languages (e.g., Russian, Belarusian, Polish, Portuguese, Italian). She works at the Center de Recherches Historiques, EHESS Paris and is a professor (Directrice de Recherches) at the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). In 1990—1991, she was entrusted by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the preparation of the future French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences (CEFRES) in Prague and subsequently became its first director (she stayed in this position until the end of 1993). Since then, in addition to her own scientific research, she has a long-term cooperation with Czech and Central European colleagues at various institutional levels and strives to develop scientific contacts between French and Czech historians and literary scholars. Among other things, she was able to use her excellent knowledge of Czech as a translator — together with Milena Braud, she translated Hrabal’s Harlequin’s Millions into French (Paris, Robert Laffont 1997). Her scientific and organizational work was recognized by the Charles University, where on February 18, 2009 she was awarded the Mojmír Horyna’s doctorate Honoris Causa. The book Culture piety symbolic politics. Changes in society in Central Europe is the first collection of some of her studies in Czech translation.

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